Don’t let your past define your future.

What about your future?
Charles Kettering future

Can you answer just one question? What does you future look like? We all dream sometimes about the future and think how great it would be to learn or do something, like learn how to play tennis or a musical instrument. Or something like this, “It would be awesome to become FI in 10 years”.

And then this “but” word comes with all the excuses you can imagine:

  • Yes, but I don’t have these skills.
  • Yes, but I’ve never done it before.
  • Yes, but I have tried and it hadn’t worked, so I will fail again.
  • Yes, but I am not given this.
  • Yes, but etc*.

All this excuses come from our past. Why is that? Why does your past define your future?

Have you ever been in a situation like this: you wake up in the morning, and  just opened your eyes. You see your spouse lying next to you. It’s morning, she is slipping and hasn’t said a word to you but you already feel something to her. And this something comes from your past. You had a great evening and night yesterday; you fall asleep together and it was great – you feel love and tenderness. Or maybe you had a huge fight, maybe you had a big argument last night about something. You open your eyes and see her, and immediately your feeling would be completely different. All these feelings also came to you from you past.

That’s how almost all the people live. They live in the present that came from their past. And their future is nothing but the reflection of their past decisions. Their past defines their future.

Our past controls our present and future

This scheme shows that your present was defined by your past. And your current present defines or forms your future. It’s like sitting on a train that goes from point A to point B and there’s no way to get somewhere else. You final destination is already known and projected at the beginning of your journey.

Experience.

We all have experience in different areas. And if you think about it, there’s no experience without past, we got our experience from the past. Our experience builds us, makes us stronger, more valuable, teaches what we can or can’t do. Furthermore, we start to defend and prove that there’s no other way for us, we are who we are, period.

People are different and somebody can do it, but I can’t. That’s aren’t mine.

I am gonna show you a really cool thing. Can you lock your palms as it shown in the picture below?

lock hands

Now, unlock and lock them again 20-30 times. Just try it.

I guarantee you that you did this exercise, you locked and unlocked your hands using just one method. I am not saying that it was incorrect, I didn’t ask you to use 20-30 different ways of doing this. But the truth is I didn’t ask you to use just one method either.

You did it without even thinking, automatically and missed a lot of other opportunities. Our habits usually hide other opportunities from us. They are around us, but we don’t see them.

There’s a Russian proverb about a fisherman that measured every fish he had caught. We would throw away every fish that was bigger than a measuring stick he used. One day a stranger saw this and asked the fisherman. “Why are your throwing away all the big fish and keeping all the small ones?” And the fisherman answer was, “I have only one pan and big fish wouldn’t fit this pan”.

Was someone forcing this poor fellow to throw away a big and tasty fish? No, he was doing this willfully. Same with us: sometimes (almost all the times) we throw a big and tasty fish away because our experience (the pan’s size) sets the boundaries for us. There’re millions of opportunities around us and we are throwing ‘em away being unaware of this.

Build Your Future.

When we live our lives based on our past it doesn’t require a lot of energy, it doesn’t require a lot of work. Yes, sometimes something happens and for a short period of time we try really hard. And that’s it.

Remember the example I gave your about your and your spouse. Let’s use it again.

You wake up in the morning after a big fight. You turn around and see your wife’s face. She’s sleeping and hasn’t said a word to you. You remember yesterday’s conflict and it wasn’t pretty. But instead of bringing past to your future you said to yourself that you want to have a good and healthy relationship with this woman. You love her and you don’t want to spend time on arguing and fighting.

See, this is completely different scenario right now. You are thinking about your future, you are thinking about the future you want to have. And based on your future you are forming your present.

Is it easy? No way, it’s not. It’s really hard. Your past clings to your, drags your away and doesn’t want to let you go. Even though if we plan the future, our past try to sneak in and bring our “experience” in. It requires a lot of work from us to forget, to throw away our past. And I mean, A LOT OF WORK.

But it worth every effort you spent.

Remember the scheme from the beginning of this post? Let me post it again, but I’ve modified it a little bit

Create your present based on you future.

I used a future as a beginning of this scheme. The future that you want might be in a completely different point or a place. And if you want to get to this future you have to start changing your present right now.

RIGHT NOW. WHAT ARE  YOU WAITING FOR?

Do you want to become FI in 10 years? Great! Is this your goal? Awesome. Find what you need to do RIGHT NOW to achieve this goal: spend less than you make and invest surplus.

Do you want to have great relationship with your kids when they are teenagers or adults? Awesome, start working on it right now. Don’t even think about dragging your past mistakes to this. I mean learn from them and don’t repeat them again, but don’t worship them for the rest of your life.

Not doing anything is easy, it really is. Your past will bring your to a predetermined future without any problem. But do you want to live in that future?

You can do almost everything you want if you have a big enough WHY.

Next time I will tell you about my WHYs.

* End of Thinking Capacity

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3 Responses to Don’t let your past define your future.

  1. Goals need to be actionable. The why is…why the heck not!?!? Lol at least that’s my why =)

  2. Brian says:

    Determination and discipline will take you a long way, but having a great Why is the ultimate motivator.

  3. I sometimes struggle with what my life will look like five years from now. I’d like to have more kiddos and a place to run around and spend time with them. I like the feeling of making a difference at work but would love to do something full time with personal finance. So we’ll see what the future holds 🙂
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…How I Improved My Family’s Quality of LifeMy Profile

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